Instead of Christmas by Patricia Freeman
Army Staff Sergeant Brian Freeman
Caledonia, MS
Died November 7, 2005 in Iraq

Today's post is a submission by Mrs. Patricia Freeman of Caledonia, MS. Her son Brian was killed in Iraq in November 2005. There is a memorial dedicated to SSGT Freeman in Caledonia, as well as SSGT Jeffrey Dayton also of Caledonia. 

My son Staff SGT Brian Freeman was killed in action outside of Baghdad on November 7, 2005. He loved being a soldier and had been in the Army since his graduation from high school. I chatted with him on the computer the day he was killed. He had bought his wife Leah a locket for her birthday and he wanted to make sure I could get his picture put in it for her. He said he had to go on a mission, not knowing that would be my last contact with him. When I got home from work, I looked on the computer and it said 4 soldiers and an interpreter were killed. I never dreamed it was Brian. I said a quick prayer for their families and made plans to go out to eat with my husband.

When we got back home my daughter-in-law called and asked if I had heard from the Army, still not realizing what she meant. When Leah said those dreadful words, “Brian was killed”, I sunk to the floor. My husband called all of our family and friends. I did manage to call my pastor. By the time the Army found us, we had about 50 members of our church family in our home. Brian was supposed to be home on leave so we could celebrate an early Christmas. Instead we had his funeral on November 16, 2005.

Brian loved life and was always playing tricks on people. He would give his Uncle Rick a wrapped up box with nothing in it. We all miss his little antics. He and Leah had only been married 17 months. They had planned on having children when he got back. He always loved kids and I know he would have made a great dad. He received the purple heart and the bronze star. In his 8 years in the service he served in Ft. Hood, TX, Kosovo, Bosnia, Germany, Korea and Ft. Carson, CO. In fact, he planned on reenlisting while he was in Iraq. I know he believed in what he was doing. He didn't even have to go to Iraq when he did because he had just returned from Korea. But he said “that was what he was trained to do”. Julie Feingold made a Lost Heroes Art Quilt. Brian was chosen to represent the state of Mississippi. It toured the country for 2 years and now it is in the Arlington Cemetery Museum.

Patricia Freeman
Proud Gold Star Mother of SSG Brian Freeman

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Army Staff Sgt Brian Freeman was killed in 2005 when a roadside bomb detonated near his patrol. Three other soldiers died that day along with Brian. 

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Reader's Comments

Pam Presley Cousar     New Albany MS
Thank you so much Brain for your service to us and country. Ms Pat your are always in my thoughts and prayers !

Sharon Fleming    Caledonia, MS
Thank you Ms. Pat for taking the time to submit this honorable piece on Brian.  He truly a great person and soldier.  Thank  you most for teaching Brian to be that person.

Leah Freeman-Reed     Laurel, MS
Thank you so much for publishing this tribute my mother-in-law submitted about Brian.  It is wonderful!  We really appreciate the Journal's remembrance and him and his sacrifice.  Thank you so much.

Patricia Freeman      Caledonia MS
Thank you for the tribute to my Son Brian and for the tributes to all the MS heroes.